Cutting the budget

The Australian this morning published a piece by Adam Creighton that drew from material assembled by me. It illustrates how savings of $26 billion a year and over 23,000 staff could be made without even addressing the health education and welfare and defence budgets that accounts for nearly 60 per cent of Commonwealth spending.

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34 Responses to Cutting the budget

  1. David Brewer

    Good one Alan.

    The federal public service grows by accretion and agencies once created cling to life tenaciously, as neither bureaucrats nor their ministers have any interest in keeping slim.

    There have only been two decent prunings that I remember – the 1987 Machinery of Government cuts, and the 1996 Howard bloodbath. For seventeen years since, the beast has been growing new heads.

    Wonder if Abbott will have the ticker for this? Can’t see it somehow. All these agencies will trot out some “achievement” or other that supposedly justifies their existence, and their true costs in the real economy will never even be identified – useless tasks, higher costs, foregone jobs, lost opportunities etc. etc.

  2. samuel j

    Cutting foreign aid should be a no brainer. All areas of public spending should be cut and then cut some more. Whole functions should be abolished.

  3. Gab

    Agree, cut foreign aid plus all money allocated to the UN including the some 10% of the carbon dioxide tax receipts which has been promised. Yes, yes I realise all these are promissory bribes for the UN temporary seat plus making Ms gillard look good but needs must.

  4. dismissive

    From an earlier post or two …

    The first step in shrinking the APS is to ignore the current departments and structures and start again.

  5. Fisky

    Cutting all ideological bureaucracies is long overdue. Well done Alan Moran!

  6. Econocrat

    Treasury should also loose tax policy, and microeconomics/competition.

    Finance should loose Deregulation Group (yes, seriously, there is one).

  7. Des Deskperson

    Even ‘progressive’ public servants agree that the biggest management problem facing the Australian (i.e.Commonwealth) Public Service is dealing with underperformance. Cut back the complex processes that protect inefficient public servants – way in excess of the due process requirements of the FWA Act – and support and reward managers who tackle underperformers.

    Do it in consultation with a rigorous review of functions, but keep in mind that a lot of the blubber in the APS is in the corporate empires, even agencies that perform essential functions still have their corporate areas clogged with training faddists, ‘HRM strategy’ leeches and ‘diversity’ featherbrains.

    Do it and you would be able to get rid of 50,000 slugs and the community would be not one whit worse off in terms of services.

  8. Andrew

    Tony, it’s time to cut the fat.

  9. Borisgodunov

    Years ago the PS went on strikeon the orders of their Marxist Loiders.NO ONE NOTICED!Before the Dependents put the liars pardee in we had no guvmint for a couple of weeks NO ONE NOTICED.Is there a message there?

  10. Andrew

    If the unions went nuts over Howard’s initial cuts, imagine what they would do if 23,000 were cut…lol

  11. Entropy

    Bear in mind that some of those units in some of those departments you are targeting may be named that way to avoid dismantling by the current mob. Very common in departments that may be regarded as naturally belonging to the other side. Hard to believe, but three you go. Eg anything with sustainability, even some things with the word climate in it.

  12. m0nty

    No wonder they couldn’t get a Coalition MP to support this rubbish. Not even a crazy Nat. Moranic.

  13. Nick

    These budget cutting ideas are all well and good, BUT, the block of voters reliant on Government for the income or part thereoff is large enough, now, to render any attempt to actually do it mute.

    We’re past the point of no return for a measured, considered and managed “stopping”.

    When something cannot continue, it will STOP!

    We have to wait for the money to actually run out now, before action is possible.

    The “stopping” will now be enforced by external factors and circumstances.

  14. Steve of Ferny Hills

    Moranic

    idiot

  15. JamesK

    Piers can’t believe he’s sitting with three other journalists.

    I don’t know what he’s worried about because he isn’t.

    He’s sitting with leftist activists and leftist government transcribers.

  16. sabrina

    Piers has the option to not go there if he wishes so. To be able to make a point without getting agitated is to be learnt

  17. BUT, the block of voters reliant on Government for the income or part thereoff is large enough, now, to render any attempt to actually do it mute.

    Mute may be correct, but there’s no need to say anything before the election. Just wait until the Financial State of the Nation Report comes back in, and open up with the chainsaw.
    Just change it all when we get in.

  18. Diogenes

    Whilst eminently sensible it ain’t going to happen for the reasons the good Dr Sowell posited on 5 Mar

    Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?

    The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.

    The example was deliberately extreme as an illustration. But, in the real world, the same general pattern can be seen in local, state and national government responses to budget cuts.

    At the local level, the first response to budget cuts is often to cut the police department and the fire department. There may be all sorts of wasteful boondoggles that could have been cut instead, but that would not produce the public alarm that reducing police protection and fire protection can produce. And public alarm is what can get budget cuts restored.

    The Obama administration is following the same pattern. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, released thousands of illegal aliens from prisons to save money — and create alarm.

  19. Empire Strikes Back

    Easy, just legislate the position of Public Revenue Waste Advocate, to be filled by a disinterested foreigner (no 457 required). Call Al Dunlap and offer him the role on a commission only basis of say 1c in every dollar saved. He’s only 75 and I reckon Chainsaw would come out of retirement for another lucrative Oz assignment.

  20. Jim Rose

    Call Al Dunlap and offer him the role on a commission only basis of say 1c in every dollar saved.

    al dunlap is banned from serving as an officer or director of any public company.

  21. Empire Strikes Back

    I’m well aware of that. The PRWA will be a statutory authority.

    He is also a psychopath, surely a desirable trait for the job at hand.

  22. TerjeP

    Wonder if Abbott will have the ticker for this? Can’t see it somehow.

    He definitely wouldn’t be bold enough.

  23. Pingback: government waste … | pindanpost

  24. casewithscience

    I think cutting the research budget so heavily (40%) is a really dumb move. Australia already has one of the lowest rates of investment in science and technology from the private sector. Basically, private enterprise in Australia is too timid to fund fledgling research. Yet, Australia has great scientific minds which come up with Gardisil or WiFi. Left to themselves, Australian industry won’t continue support for projects that will result in a net Australian social and economic benefit. Historically, this has been the preserve of public institutions in Australia.

    Also, cuts to CSIRO and grant instutitions of the nature suggested will ultimately lead to an exodus of our best and brightest academics to other countries (in biotech to Korea, India and the States, in mechanical/chemical to China, Japan and the States).

    Accordingly, those parts of the suggested cuts are just a dumb move for Australia’s future….

  25. Loops of Fruit

    Let me get this straight Alan (and your analysis-free acolytes);
    Your brilliant cost cutting measures would include cutting the research budget, all environmental protection, privatise the ABC and SBS, abolishing ALL agriculture, fishery and forestry programs, and axing the Human Rights Commission and Fair Work?

    With genius-level contributions like this, I’m surprised you haven’t had a tasp on the shoulder to run the country yourself.

  26. Pingback: Slash and Burn | Chifley Research Centre

  27. Pingback: If Abbott wins: ruthless cuts? | The Blog of Greg

  28. Abel Knight

    Is this an April fools joke which leaked early?

  29. WhaleHunt Fun

    “Also, cuts to CSIRO and grant instutitions of the nature suggested will ultimately lead to an exodus of our best and brightest academics to other countries (in biotech to Korea, India and the States, in mechanical/chemical to China, Japan and the States).”

    Garbage. If they are the brightest minds, why are they all so poor?
    One bumbling mining entrepeneur creates more social benefit than all these bright minds put together. If we need wifi we can buy one . If we need a PhD e can buy one. Cheap. From China.The CSIRO is a taxpayer funded playpen for lefties that couldn’t get a job in the real world. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Sick of noncontributory whingers bleating about how special they are.

  30. jane

    I don’t mind cuts to scientific and medical research as long as the consequences are limited to dolts like you being denied the benefit of that research.

    Cuts to the public service as long as you are the only ones to suffer the consequences.

    In fact I think we should start those programs immediately.

    I’m sure you won’t mind receiving medical and dental treatment straight from the 1950s, along with the appropriate communications infrastructure.

    No internet, laptops ipads or mobile phones for you. I hope you’re up on analogue time pieces, cars without climate control, power windows, on board computers, GPS, bluetooth, smart keys or indeed any form of central locking, power steering, radio or other technology.

    And I suppose you’re OK with Australia losing its AAA rating? By the time Liealot and Rupert finish with it, it’ll be rated ZZZ.

  31. Gab

    So it is true. There are numptys out there who believe only government can deliver, medical, dental, communications….and iPad, mobile phones…I can’t stop laughing.

  32. dismissive

    It’s funny. If the only way to get these wonderful medical services was from the Oz govt. I would do all my work in SE Asia. It is better and cheaper.

  33. Malcolm Grant

    Hey Gab, you do realise that Wi-Fi was invented by the CSIRO.

    You know the Government Research Labs, with PUBLIC MONEY.

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